Writing Tips at GarySpeer.com

Tips for writers and musing about writing and life

Writing humor may be toughest type of writing to do well


This is strictly my opinion — trying to write humor and do it well may be the very toughest task for a writer. Why? Because humor is so subjective. One person’s “howler” that reduces him to tears may not even generate a smile for someone else. In addition, much of the vocabulary and syntax used to write humor can be very tricky. Sort of like trying to convey humor online with such emoticons as smiley faces, the ubiquitous “LOL!” and “ROFL!”, etc.

I cracked up last night over a bit on Comedy Channel’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” They were doing a parody piece on health care reform in America, supposedly having their “correspondents” from Canada and Great Britain tell real-life medical horror stories they had suffered under those nations’ health care systems. (Hint: If it takes this long to just set up and explain a humor piece, that should be a clear sign of what I mean when I say writing humor is tough.)

One of the bits in that health care humor piece had the British correspondent rip open his shirt and complain about open heart surgery, displaying a “scar” shaped like a Valentine’s Day heart or heart pendant necklace shaped mark allegedly left behind by the surgery.

I thought that was hilarious and chuckled out loud. My wife barely smiled.

Any of you reading this write humor regularly? I mean intentional humor, of course. Leave a post and let us know what you think may be the “key” or “keys” to successful humor writing.